Friday, May 29, 2015

The Mystery of the Holy Trinity

I wrote this for a past series of bulletin inserts. Holy Trinity Sunday is approaching and since trying to wrap one's brain around the concept of the Trinity is so difficult for me, I thought that y'all might like this too.
The Mystery of the Holy Trinity

Today the Church celebrates the feast of the Blessed Trinity. This, the ineffable mystery of God's intimate life, is the central truth of our faith and the source of all gifts and graces. The liturgy of the Mass invites us to loving union with each of the Three Divine Persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This feast was established for the Latin Church by Pope John XXII, to be celebrated on the Sunday after the coming of the Holy Spirit, which is the last of the mysteries of our salvation. Today we can say many times, savoring it, the prayer: Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit...

[St. Teresa] writes: Once when I was reciting the "Quicumque vult," I was shown so clearly how it was possible for there to be one God alone and three Persons that it caused me both amazement and much comfort. It was of the greatest help to me in teaching me to know more of the greatness of God and of his marvels. When I think of the most Holy Trinity, or hear it spoken of, I seem to understand how there can be such a mystery, and it is a great joy to me.

The whole of a Christian's supernatural life is directed towards this knowledge of and intimate conversation with the Trinity, who become eventually the fruit and the end of our whole life (St. Thomas). It is for this end that we have been created and raised to the supernatural order: to know, to talk to and to love God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, who dwell in the soul in grace.

In Conversation With God Vol 6
Special Feasts: January - June
Trinity Sunday celebrates the most profound mystery of our faith: The Holy Trinity, the presence of God as Three in One. It is called a mystery not because it is a puzzle that we attempt to solve, but because it is a reality above our human comprehension. We may begin to grasp it intellectually, but ultimately must accept that we can only know the Holy Trinity through worship, symbol, and faith. What a challenge this poses for the Christian believer who knows and accepts the Holy Trinity dwells in our soul in grace, but also calls us to a relationship with Him. How do we do this? In our limited state, how can we know and love a mystery?

We do this through the small daily actions we can take of meditating on instructions on the Faith and reciting prayers composed in honor of the Trinity. For instance, although we recite it so often that it tends to slide by our consciousness, the Glory Be invites grace into our souls when we pray:

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen

Certainly, we cannot hope to know the Holy Trinity unless God himself reaches out to us first and helps us along the way. Making ourselves open to God and raising our hearts to Him in petition, we can join in this prayer:

My Lord and my God, my only hope, hear my prayer so that I may not give in to discouragement and cease to seek you. May I desire always to see your face. Give me strength for the search. You who caused me to find you and gave the hope of a more perfect knowledge of you, I place before you my steadfastness, that you may preserve it, and my weakness, that you may heal it. I place before you my knowledge, and my ignorance. If you open the door to me, welcome the one who enters. If you have closed the gate, open it to the one who calls. Make me always remember you, understand you and love you. Increase those gifts in me until I am completely changed.

When we come into your presence, these many things we talk about now without understanding them will cease, and you alone will remain everything in everyone, and then we will sing as one an eternal hymn of praise and we too will become one with you.
St. Augustine, De Trinitate, 15, 28, 51

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